The Spiriva HandiHaler is an inhaler meant for the long-term treatment of diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The Spiriva inhaler works by opening pathways for effective breathing and preventing spasms that narrow airways in the lungs. Patients using the Spiriva inhaler usually experience little to no side-effects listed below.
Common side-effects of Spiriva include:
- Upper respiratory infection (such as the common cold)
- Dry mouth
- Sinus infection
- Sore throat
- Bladder infection
- Abdominal pain
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Muscle pain
- Yeast infection
- Stuffy or runny nose
However, new studies have shown that could be linked to potentially fatal cardiac conditions. The study conducted a trial between patients who used Spiriva and patients who used alternative methods of treatment and found that the people taking Spiriva had a 58% higher risk of developing cardiac problems, including fatal heart attacks and strokes. Most of the side-effects Spiriva lists are relatively minor, but considering that heart disease is one of them, it is something to be taken seriously.
Concerns have been raised about Spiriva even before now. In March 2008, the FDA raised concerns about the possible connection between the side effects of Spiriva and an increased risk of stroke.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a serious disease that deserves attention and should, of course, be taken seriously. It’s quite alarming that the disease does have such little attention, considering it’s the fourth leading cause of death in the world. COPD causes significant deterioration of lung function and chronic breathlessness. COPD can result in a severe disability.
Though it’s certainly a good thing that Spiriva is effective in helping to treat COPD, it’s unacceptable that it has to be at the risk of the cardiac health of its unassuming consumers. The consumers need to at least be informed of the risks they are taking in using Spiriva.